…The landmass known today as Floyd County lies not far in miles from this Great Valley of Western migration approximately following the route of Interstate 81 and Highway 11. Primitive forts were established along the headwaters of the Roanoke River, in Salem and Shawsville, and early travelers would have taken a notice of the clear, cold South Fork of that river that follows the gentle grade south along today’s Allegheny Spring Road. Waterways were often arteries of migration, providing gentler grades through the hard …

Floyd County: Times Past #3 Read more »

I am gathering my thoughts to describe our local habitat, as a way of sharing the source of my sense of place with readers of this book that I may eventually put between covers. I’m having to do it all by dictation now, which is very frustrating, and there will be times I will not attempt to correct mistakes of capitalization and that kind of thing. These are some of my thoughts, not the store glee verified, but my gut feeling about the lady …

Floyd County: Times Past #2 Read more »

I am writing for my book (A Floyd County Almanac) about the geography and early settlement of this part of Floyd County. I’m finding it hard not to get lost following the trail of fragmentary histories that give little mention of the county in the story of western migration  that chiefly followed today’s interstate 81 or Highway 11. The reason is that this high plateau to the South of the great Valley was difficult to reach by foot or on horseback, much less in …

Floyd County: Times Past Read more »

I have no choice: we have so many this year. I’m heading out to collect a few hundred walnuts to shell out over winter. I gotta go. Here’s a snippet from the Floyd County Almanac (now at 30k words!) “…We’re going nuts around here this fall. It is a heavy mast year, and it could be bad for our health and safety. It’s actually risky to walk some places, so many rolling ball-bearings-on-banana-peel hickory nuts and acorns litter the path. Maybe that’s why they call …

Fall(s) Risk: Walnuts Read more »

In this short excerpt from “A Floyd County Almanac” I’m following the thread backwards to explore my own roots in childhood that might have predisposed me to a lifetime as a “biology watcher.” What would you discover in your own life that left you with a persistent sense of belonging in and to the natural world? If you lack that connection, where might your life have diverged away from (what I feel is built into all of us) that inborn sense of curiosity and wonder in …

Nature Nudges Read more »